In Memoriam
  Donn Haven Lathrop (1938-2017)  
Donn was a highly regarded member of Tower & Street Clock Chapter #134, as well as several geographical chapters of NAWCC.  He contributed numerous articles to the NAWCC Bulletin, and was the editor of the second edition of Frederick Shelley's monumental book on Early American Tower Clocks.  His personal Website included lists of tower clocks produced by early American clockmakers, based on that book.

The pages linked below preserve and expand those lists, along with other clock-related material from Donn's Website.  His designs for individual pages and for the logical relationships (links) between them have been preserved, though some behind-the-scenes modifications have been made.

In order that this be a living legacy, suggestions for additions and corrections will be welcomed.  Please use the email link at the bottom of any page for comments regarding that page, so that it will be clear to the Webmaster which page is the focus of your comments.

Carl Scott Zimmerman

  1. The Clockwork Historian
  2. Early American tower clocks
  3. Bibliography of Bulletin articles
  4. Biographical sketch
  5. Miscellaneous

The Clockwork Historian

Donn styled himself "The Clockwork Historian," and titled his original main page thus.  From it, you can find an interesting variety of additional pages about clocks and clockmakers.  His pages about known installations of early American tower clocks are linked from there, but are also accessible as a separate section here (see below).


Early American tower clocks

American Tower Clocks, 1717-2015 is a gateway to more than a dozen pages of lists covering all known installations of the products of American makers of mechanical tower clocks

In some of the lists of known tower clock installations, the column headed "Clock?" presumably indicated Donn's (or someone's) knowledge of whether the clock was extant - Y for yes, N for no, "--" for status unknown.  This indicator has been updated when more recent information was found.


Bibliography of Bulletin articles

Over the course of more than two decades, Donn wrote or co-authored two dozen major articles and at least six minor articles for the NAWCC Bulletin.*  All are available on the NAWCC Website as PDFs, and some are also available here (possibly under a slightly different title and/or with slightly different text -- see green markings below).  Those on the NAWCC Website can only be accessed by NAWCC members, who can find them from the list below in one of two ways, as follows:

Articles titled here in bold were featured as major articles, are individually listed in the Table of Contents of the Bulletin, and have a brief "About the Author" section at the end.  Articles titled here in italics are letters, notes and minor articles, and are contained within one of the Features sections of the Bulletin as identified here.

* The exact number of minor articles is uncertain because of limitations on both the way that BULLETINs have been made available online and the available search methods.  The BULLETINs have been both scanned and digitized, so that the individual PDFs are searchable within the online PDF viewer or an offline PDF reader.  However, the full digitized content has not actually been used in either of the two different search processes that are currently available, and all but the very oldest issues are broken up into multiple PDFs, typically one per major article or feature section.
(1)  In the first attempt at collecting information about Donn Lathrop, the publicly-available site search (located at the right end of the double menubar on the home page) was used.  Apparently this accesses only the digitized tables of contents of the various issues.  (Since access to Bulletin content is a member benefit, this is a reasonable limitation.)  Thus the results of a search for "Lathrop" included a number of major articles where the author's name was listed in the ToC, but nothing else from the BULLETIN.  (This search also found a mention of Donn on another Webpage.)
(2)  Since Your Editor had failed to capture the URLs of those articles (not yet thinking about preparing this online Bibliography), a second search was made several weeks later, using the search facility on the Past Issues page.  This search had surprisingly different results - apparently it operates on a manually prepared index, since each result is a single line and the article or item titles are obviously shortened by omissions or informal abbreviations (e.g, "clk" for "clock").  It did find all of the major articles found by the site search, but it also revealed the existence of a major article where the author's name had been unaccountably omitted from the ToC, as well as numerous minor articles that had been published as letters to the editor.  Unfortunately, it appears that the index used for this search was not as thorough as it should have been, because additional letters by Donn have been fortuitously discovered (see above).  It is not known how many more unindexed letters there might be.

** There is an automatic link from the end of the first PDF to the second, but the PDF viewers in some Web browsers will not handle it properly.  If that happens, you can get to the second PDF by using the direct link above (for pp739-55).


Biographical sketch

The following sketch of the life of Donn Haven Lathrop (1938-2017) is based primarily on the various "About the Author" paragraphs appended to the major articles that he wrote for the NAWCC BULLETIN (see above), supplemented by those few facts that are available from public records.  No obituary has yet been found, but there is now a memorial page connected to his burial site.

In preparation



In the course of rescuing Donn's Website from potential oblivion, some photos and other materials related to tower clocks were found.

In preparation

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